This year, I really stepped up my research for this phantom draft and watched as many as two YouTube videos of potential draftees.
OK, maybe I didn’t watch that many but I did have strong intentions to and that has to count for something.
Plus, not ever laying eyes on any of these kids hardly makes me unique in the phantom draft writing caper.
PICK 1: CARLTON — JACOB WEITERING (Dandenong Stingrays)
Jacob is a defender, so he doesn’t even have the ability to kick a lot of goals and therefore force a trade out of Carlton.
Everyone refers to him as an ‘intercept player’ which doesn’t really mean anything and shows you footy analysts have way too much time on their hands. You could argue everyone who plays against Carlton is an intercept player given the Blues poor disposal.
PICK 2: BRISBANE — JOSH SCHACHE (Murray Bushrangers)
Josh is a lock to be selected by Brisbane and Justin Leppitsch says he’s already planning to get rid of him.
Schache says he’s not the sort of person to get homesick but he is the sort of person who hates Queensland and can’t wait to force a trade out of there.
PICK 3: SYDNEY ACADEMY SELECTION — CALLUM MILLS (North Shore)
Considered the best midfielder in the draft, Callum was developed in the Sydney Academy, where he was injected with leopard, ape and weirdly, meerkat DNA everyday from the age of six.
While the meerkat DNA doesn’t help with his football, it does make him perfect for spotting birds of prey and alerting others.
PICK 4: MELBOURNE — DARCY PARISH (Geelong Falcons)
Parish is a midfield who is known for using the ball well. That’s something new the Demons are really keen to try after a decade of recruiting players who thought ‘accuracy’ was some sort of accounting software.
Darcy says he can’t wait to play for Paul Roos for a whole year.
PICK 5: GWS GIANTS ACADEMY SELECTION — JACOB HOPPER (North Ballarat)
Jacob is a GWS academy selection who played for North Ballarat in the TAC Cup.
Last I checked, North Ballarat isn’t that close to Western Sydney. Perhaps North Ballarat is in Western Sydney but it then seems strange to pick Ballarat as the geographical point to say you’re north of, even if it’s true.
Still, the AFL’s drafting and recruiting rules are never meant to make sense. They’re designed to confuse everyone so we can then spend hours arguing about them and to upset Eddie McGuire.
PICK 6: ESSENDON — CHARLIE CURNOW (Geelong Falcons)
There’s a lot of talk of Curnow being selected by Melbourne ahead of Essendon, making him the first draftee to want to be drafted by the Demons.
At least Curnow’s parents can breathe a sigh of relief knowing James Hird is no longer there and he’ll be in the safe hands of John Worsfold.
PICK 7: ESSENDON — SAM WEIDEMAN (Eastern Ranges)
Sam is the grandson of Collingwood legend Murray Weideman and his dad played for the Pies too. Unfortunately, he isn’t eligible to play for Collingwood under the Father/Son rule.
It’s always sad when things don’t go Collingwood’s way. Luckily, they always remain stoic and never complain about these things.
PICK 8: GWS GIANTS ACADEMY SELECTION — MATTHEW KENNEDY (Collingullie-GP)
Kennedy is a goal-kicking midfielder and I started to watch a video of him on YouTube but got distracted by the new Star Wars trailer. Do you think Luke Skywalker really is a bad guy as people are predicting?
I don’t think so. I reckon they’ll hide him for most of the movie and then reveal him towards the end where he’ll save them all.
Anyway, I hope you’ve enjoyed this insight into your new player, GWS fan.
PICK 9: GOLD COAST — AARON FRANCIS (West Adelaide)
Aaron has an abundance of self-confidence, which is something we all aspire to but dislike in others. Why do we all do that? Want something that will ultimately make us a source of ridicule?
I should add that Aaron’s reported self-confidence relates to football and may be well justified.
I don’t think he has self-confidence in things like say, open heart surgery or civil engineering. That would just be arrogance.
PICK 10: MELBOURNE — HARRY McKAY (Gippsland Power)
A forward who the Demons need to take some of the workload off Jesse Hogan. Melbourne remind me of a guy who is dating someone they know is out of their league. They’re just doing anything to keep them.
You want another key forward? Sure. You don’t want to commit long-term yet? That’s cool I say, even though I cry myself to sleep because you haven’t.
PICK 11: BRISBANE ACADEMY SELECTION — ERIC HIPWOOD (Aspley)
Hipwood has great hands. I’m not saying they’re great in a footy sense, they’re just really well proportioned. He could be a hand model if footy doesn’t work out. I could spend hours looking at them. That’s not weird right?
PICK 12: CARLTON — RYAN BURTON (North Adelaide)
Ryan missed 14 months of football with a broken leg and as if that wasn’t bad enough he now looks set to be drafted by Carlton. It’s sad news for Burton because at least a broken leg gets better eventually.
PICK 13: ADELAIDE — WAYNE MILERA (Central District)
Milera has a condition called Wolff-Parkinson-White syndrome, which creates a second electrical pathway through his heart.
I’m no doctor but I think it means he can charge his mobile phone just by touching it. It doesn’t affect his football, which is a shame. Being able to give an opponent an electric shock would be an amazing advantage.
PICK 14: CARLTON — CLAYTON OLIVER (Murray Bushrangers)
Clayton is a midfielder, often described as ‘big-bodied’, which in football is a compliment but in any other walk of life would be considered an insult.
Imagine sending an email out at work saying “Please welcome Geoff to the sales team, he’s the big-bodied fellow.”
Clayton won the the Morrish Medal for the best TAC Cup player, which means he’ll probably be Carlton’s best player after Patrick Cripps straight away.
PICK 15: RICHMOND — HARLEY BALIC (Sandringham Dragons)
I read somewhere that Balic is a half-forward who can ‘rotate through the midfield’.
I’m pretty sure that doesn’t mean he just spins around when in the centre square, pirouetting everywhere like some malfunctioning ballerina. That said, I’ve never seen him play so that could be exactly what he does, which must be both amazing to see and highly distracting for other players.
He was also a talented junior basketballer so look forward to the Channel Seven commentary team mentioning that every few minutes for the next decade.
PICK 16: BRISBANE ACADEMY SELECTION — BEN KEAYS (Redlands)
Keays was captain of the Queensland state side so there’s a real chance he could actually stay in Brisbane, which is a miracle these days.
He has the ability to go deep and I don’t mean into the forward line to kick goals, I mean in conversation. His views on early 16th century naval warfare are insightful and really fleshed out my understanding of that period.
He then started talking about ‘time being a circle’ and lost me.
PICK 17: ADELAIDE — RHYS MATHIESON (Geelong Falcons)
Rhys is a player that loves to get under the pack. Sometimes he even gets the ball while he’s down there.
I’m expecting him to immediately step in and replace Patrick Dangerfield, not because I actually think this but it’s just fun to place unreasonably high expectations on 18-year-olds.
PICK 18: ST KILDA — JADE GRESHAM (Northern Knights)
I’m told Gresham is great around stoppages. I don’t really know what that means. I guess he’s just makes everyone feel comfortable. Like a good dinner party guest.
PICK 19: HAWTHORN — KIERAN COLLINS (Dandenong Stingrays)
Kieran looks set to join Hawthorn, which means he should play AFL in about ten years’ time.
It’s a great get for the Box Hill Hawks though.
PICK 20: GOLD COAST — CALLUM AH CHEE (South Fremantle)
Ah Chee looked like a top ten pick earlier in the season but has slipped throughout the year.
That makes him perfect for the Suns as that’s pretty much their operating model.